Home Americas US Navy’s new AARGM-ER missile aces first live-fire test

US Navy’s new AARGM-ER missile aces first live-fire test

F/A-18 E/F flies with an AARGM-ER missile
An F/A-18 E/F flies with an AARGM-ER during an earlier captive carry flight test at Patuxent River Air Station in Maryland. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) completed its first live fire event on July 19 off the coast of Point Mugu Sea Test Range.

The AARGM-ER was launched from an F/A-18 Super Hornet and met all planned test objectives, the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) said in a statement.

The live fire test validated the overall system integration, performance of the rocket motor and the start of modeling and simulation validation. This was the first in a series of development test events that will ensure AARGM-ER can meet required objectives.

The navy said earlier that testing would continue over the next few years in preparation for initial operational capability in fiscal year 2023.

“This first live fire event is a major step to providing our fleet with the most advanced weapon system to defeat evolving surface-to-air threats, said Capt. Alex Dutko, Direct and Time Sensitive Strike Weapon (PMA-242) program manager. “Our Navy and Northrop Grumman team has done tremendous work executing this event and ensuring we met all test objectives.”

“This firing was a significant milestone for the program as we get ready to enter Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP),” added Keli Olea, PMA-242 AARGM-ER Co-Lead. The program is expected to enter LRIP this summer, which will support future deployment of the AARGM-ER to the fleet and initial operating capability.

AARGM-ER leverages the AARGM program that is currently in full rate production. It has been upgraded with a new rocket motor and warhead to provide advanced capability to detect and engage enemy air defense systems.

The Navy is integrating AARGM-ER on the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G, and it will be compatible for integration on the F-35.